Darren McFadden’s Time Has Come

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Dec 2, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders receiver Rod Streater (80) is defended by Cleveland Browns defensive back Buster Skrine (22) on a 64-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter at the O.co Coliseum. The Browns defeated the Raiders 20-17. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

The Passing Game

It made me laugh last year when many tried to make Rashaad Jennings into a star because of one long run in his career last year. On that run, most of the defense  went with quarterback Terrelle Pryor because he was the most dangerous man. And throughout the season, they compared Jennings’ numbers to McFadden’s but failed to realize Jennings was never the defense’s focus.

Since McFadden’s brief run at stardom, the NFL has known him to be the fastest way for the Raiders to change a game. For goodness sake, Pryor and Matt McGloin were throwing the ball so the defense triple-dog-dared them to throw. But in 2014, either Matt Shaub or Derek Carr will be throwing it and the Raiders have deep threats from receiver to fullback.

So safeties can’t stay in the box as much as they worry about legitimate quarterbacks hitting guys like  Rod Streater and Denarius Moore deep. In 2010, McFadden was the reason then quarterback Jason Campbell could throw it deep. Then last year when McFadden played, Pryor and McGloin were dared to throw the ball deep.

This year, the Raiders’ passing game will be respected more and McFadden will have it easier because of it. This will be the first time in his career that the pass can possibly set up a run for him at times. At some point in 2014, there’s going to be some cover-2 being run against the Raiders’ offense as the quarterback will be a threat.